As you may have heard, a journalist and photographer from the local newspaper, The Leaf Chronicle, came to our Good Friday Funeral last night. She interviewed me before and they hung out for most of the service, taking pictures and chronicling the event. They did a great job capturing the meaning behind the funeral and it turned out to be a great opportunity for the message of the cross to be printed for the whole city to read!
Make sure to read the article HERE.
It was an amazing evening and exciting to see plenty of new faces, curious about what we were doing.
Although they did a great job with the article, I wanted to mention a few things that didn’t make the paper…
The whole point of the evening was to point people to the freedom that Christ’s death offers for all people. We looked briefly at the story of Jesus replacing Barabbas, the notorious criminal, and I shared that anyone who had not committed their life to Christ was just like Barabbas – a criminal on death row. At the end of the message, I gave an invitation for those who, although they had lived like Barabbas, wanted to walk free that night. Praise God: 4 people responded to the invitation, including a guy I had counseled with earlier that week! THAT is the whole reason behind the funeral!
Although my face is the one in the picture and only a few names made the article, there were LOTS of people serving behind-the-scenes to pull this thing off. Everyone from our Kids Ministry Director, Jenn Witiuk, to all those who helped her teach the kids about Jesus’ substitutionary death. I know it was a sacrifice for many of them, considering that they wanted to be in the funeral, but their service allowed others the chance to experience it for themselves. We also had an extra staff of greeters, counselors, and even people who came early and stayed late to clean and straighten up chairs. Chris, our video & audio engineer for the evening rocked it as well, making it all go off without a hitch!
To all those who served behind-the-scenes, THANKS! Your service did not go unnoticed and lives were changed because of you!
The process of putting this funeral together began months ago. The first place I called to rent a hearse thought I was insane and said they don’t rent hearses anymore. So, I called the first funeral home that I could find in Clarksville – the Neal-Tarpley-Parchman Funeral Home. I couldn’t believe how generous, giving, and easy to work with they were! They donated everything from the hearse parked out front, to the casket, candle holders, and more! They did it all from the kindness of their hearts and without any recognition. It was a huge blessing to work with them. Although many people don’t do a lot of work with funeral homes, that will be a growing part of my job as a pastor. They’ve got my business.
The moral of the story: serve with your whole heart as unto the Lord, whether you get noticed or not. You never know how your sacrifice can impact lives all around you! Whether anyone notices or not, God notices…
Hebrews 6:10 – For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Oh, and don’t forget, EASTER IS TOMORROW! We’re going to party! Bring some friends!